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Mark Shaw: Preparations for a Haute Couture fashion show at Pierre Balmain, 1954. © Mark Shaw

Work / Photography

Mark Shaw captures the glamour of haute couture runways from the 1950s

Mark Shaw was an American fashion and celebrity photographer working during the 1950s and 60s. While Mark died in 1969 at just 47 years old, he racked up an impressive portfolio of work in print and film. He freelanced for Life magazine from 1952 to 1968 and in total produced 27 cover images and more than 100 stories for the publication. The photographer’s work also appeared in Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle and many others.

He’s most known for his photographs of John F Kennedy, as well as a whole host of famous faces including Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Pablo Picasso and Yves St Laurent – yet Mark was first and foremost a fashion photographer.

He was one of the first to use colour when shooting the runways, and offered a previously unseen glimpse into the backstage of couture shows. It’s these images that are currently on show at Galerie MR14 as part of the 70th celebrations being held in Paris for Dior.

The images unite multiple fashion houses including Dior, Balmain and Balenciaga and highlight Mark’s talent for capturing the glamour on and off the runway. Beautifully candid, it’s fascinating to see the models still seemingly pose for Mark’s camera despite being outside of the main action while teams around them fix their hair and dress them.

Mark Shaw: In the Universe of Haute Couture is on now at Galerie MR14 until 3 September 2017.

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Mark Shaw: Preparations for a Haute Couture fashion show at Pierre Balmain, 1954. © Mark Shaw

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Mark Shaw: Christian Dior in fitting session, 1954. © Mark Shaw

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Mark Shaw: Fitting Scene at Dior, 1953. © Mark Shaw

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Mark Shaw: Preparations for a Haute Couture fashion show at Pierre Balmain, 1954. © Mark Shaw

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Mark Shaw: Wedding dress at Dior, 1961. © Mark Shaw